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my 5 year old with adhd

123adhd profile image
10 Replies

my child got diagnosed with adhd 2 months ago. He was extremely aggressive, anxious child who was struggling to cope at school. He hated his school and had no friends. We have tried everything, and the school said they were struggling to cope also. The pediatrician prescribed us Ritalin which he takes 5mg per day and only at school, and gets med breaks at weekends and holidays. Life for my son has changed enormously, he’s now enjoying school, has friends and finally getting asked to play dates etc. he also receives behavioural therapy twice a week and although we have our difficulties now and then, life overall for my son is SO much better.

However, I just wondered if other parents dealt with this guilt and worry for putting their child on meds that I have. The dr said he is young, but as his symptoms were severe she’s happy to continue prescribing him. I feel so alone as there no one I know that really in the same boat. And I know in my heart I’m doing the right thing by my son. I’m so worried about it effecting his brain developing or growth. Please help any advice!

10 Replies
intuniv1 profile image

hi, my son had tried 4 different medications…each one has its own nasty side effects ranging from anger to not eating to jitteriness to tears and everything in between. I have guilt also about him being on medication but also not being on medication but have taken him off everything now. The one med that Worked he literally refused to eat….if you have a medication that works and yr son is better on you are doing great 👍 no mummy guilt needed if ur son is feeling better 😀😀.

Brightside99 profile image

After our son was diagnosed, it took us over two years to start meds because we wanted to try all other options. After we started receiving weekly calls from the school regarding his behavior, we finally gave in. It was life changing. We went with the smallest dose and he only gets meds on school days. When our kiddo told us that he’s able to focus better at school we knew we made the right decision. You are making the right choice for your circumstances, do not feel guilty!

123adhd profile image
123adhd in reply to Brightside99

thanks so much, I’m glad to hear your child is able to focus on the meds. Take care

DarlaRose profile image

It sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do to help your son. As he matures, there is a chance his medication needs will change as well. My son's doctor gave me helpful advice- she said loss of self esteem is what can contribute to so many other problems later in life, so whatever methods can help protect their self esteem as a young child, you are helping to protect them in the long run. You're doing the right thing!

123adhd profile image
123adhd in reply to DarlaRose

what a brilliant comment from your doctor. I never thought of it like that, that’s exactly what I need. I just came home from watching my sons first nativity and he was able to sing and join in for the first time. Usually he is having a meltdown in the calm space at school as he cannot cope with the pressure. I say watch his nativity, I could barely see a thing because the big tears that were balling out of my eyes - so unbelievably proud of how far he’s come.

Nats2005 profile image

We never had any guilt about putting our son on meds. In our case that's probably a function of two things. First, my spouse is on meds for anxiety and depression and I took anxiety meds over a short term quite some time ago when I was in a stressful work situation. So we both already understood how they help. Also, our social circle, both close friends and extended circle of acquaintances, includes multiple families with neurodivergent kids (and neurodivergent adults) who have used meds to help. So there's sympathy and understanding for the challenges of supporting kids like ours.

123adhd profile image
123adhd in reply to Nats2005

that’s a really good insight, thank you so much for your honesty. I’m glad to hear you’ve got a supportive network.

Momtrying profile image

You are doing the right thing! Your child’s brain needs help, just like if they needed glasses or a hearing aid to function better in life you would absolutely do that for them. Don’t let the guilt creep in, you are giving them the best chance at life 😊

SunshineF profile image

it’s as though I wrote this post! My husband and I are in a very similar situation with our 4.5 year old son. He gets behavioral therapy at pre-K throughout the week and we recently started medication. The only thing that differs is we haven’t found the right medicine yet. He’s currently on a non stimulant, guanfacine, and we added adderall recently but we stopped because he got a sinus infection. His doctor wants his infection to clear up first and then restart the adderall trial.

We have so much guilt about starting medication so young but we know it could really help him and that’s obviously our goal. We also worry about effects on his brain and long term use etc. One thing that I found comforting was recent research shows that stimulants actually helps the brain develop or essentially catch up where growth was immature or delayed. Dr. Russel Barkley talks about this if you google it. Not sure if that’ll help give you a little more reassurance or not but hopefully it does.

We just pray we find something that works for our son soon because this trial period is hard for everyone and definitely weighing on us as parents.

Best of luck to you all. You’re a great parent! Hang in there ❤️

123adhd profile image
123adhd in reply to SunshineF

thanks so much for your reply, I’ve never heard of that research and I will defo look into it. We live in the UK where treatment doesn’t typically start till 8-9 years old so I defo feel alone! Hopefully you find something soon that works for your little one. That period of time where my son was I medicated was definitely a trying period x

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